Thursday, May 15, 2008
Takahashi is a master at kakekotoba (Japanese term for a type of pun that uses a word in such a way as to suggest two or more meanings). The Japanese language has many homophones and Takahashi loves to use these. Sadly these do not translate well and the duel (or occasionally even more) meanings of the words are lost. A particular instance of this is the name of the character commonly known as Shampoo in English and really shows this. Depending on whether the reading is Chinese, Japanese, or English (not to mention which kanji you're using), means "hair care product", "unpolished gem", "mountain girl", "she whose breasts are as mountains"... all of which describe the character in some way. There are countless puns like this that are lost particularly the ki blast storyline which was riddled with them and ended up leading to a massive pun. Her other works have these as well for example Urusei Yatsura had them even more frequently than Ranma ½ did.